WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
Iowa’s merit selection and retention process keeps politics and campaign money out of our courts, safeguarding its fairness and impartiality. Iowa courts have a long history of protecting average citizens, and the retention of Iowa judges should be based on their ability to uphold the law fairly and consistently – not on the outcome of a single decision.
Justice Not Politics was formed in 2010 as a response to political attacks made against the Iowa Supreme Court Justices who ruled in the marriage equality case of Varnum v. Brien. The conservative group, The Family Leader, politicized the judicial retention election of 2010 and, as a result, three well-qualified justices were not retained. In 2012, Justice Not Politics worked to educate Iowans on the retention process and, as a result, one of the Varnum justices was retained, despite political attacks from the religious and political right. In 2016, the final three “Varnum justices” were up for retention. JNP worked again to educate voters and helped to protect the courts from politicized attacks. The three justices were retained.
Unfortunately, the fight for the judiciary is not over. Some state legislators and special interest groups continue to target our non-partisan and fair courts to influence the judicial process in Iowa.
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